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Caring for generations

Editorial by Mary W. Poole

 

The aging process involves many challenges in older adults. Physical, emotional and cognitive obstacles sometimes feel overwhelming for the senior generation. These impediments many times can lead to depression and isolation, anxiety, issues with substance abuse and even the lack of appropriate nutrition. Many times families struggle to find the resource for the ones they love the most.

 

The Senior Care Unit at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas is devoted to the behavioral health and medical needs of our senior adults. The goal of the highly trained staff is to maintain and enhance the senior patient’s self-respect during every phase of treatment and to enhance quality of life by helping senior adults maximize their ability to function independently. The 20-bed inpatient unit – including activities, day room and courtyard – offers a homelike environment that allows the staff to focus on the individual psychiatric, medical, medication, dietary and social needs of each patient. This Medicare- approved unit is designed for individuals 65 years and older that are suffering from a range of behavioral difficulties including: anxiety disorders, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, depression and paranoia. Medical and clinical professionals provide a team approach to develop individualized treatment plans based on comprehensive diagnostic procedures.

 

Inpatient Treatment includes:

Individual and Group Therapy

Family/Caregiver Therapy

Medication Review and Monitoring

Daily Social Enrichment Activities

Spiritual Services

Diagnostic Services

Weekly Report to Referral Sources

Physical Therapy

 

The first sign that something is wrong often occurs when a person suddenly stops caring for themselves. If you know someone 65 years of age or older who is experiencing any of the symptoms below, please contact the Senior Care Unit at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas.

 

  • Depression or personality changes
  • Numerous, unexplained physical ailments/changes in eating/sleeping patterns
  • Confused thinking, inability to concentrate and/or memory loss
  • Excessive fear, anxieties or suspiciousness
  • Withdrawal from family, friends, or others
  • Abuse of alcohol/medications
  • Growing inability to cope with daily living resulting in unsafe behaviors

 

Aftercare planning begins on the day of arrival to the Senior Care Unit. The qualified professionals work closely with patients and families to help maintain the patient’s progress and ensure safety after discharge. The aftercare plan will include the most appropriate living arrangement for the patient after discharge. Whenever possible, discharge is made back to the home environment but when it is not possible, an assisted living facility, nursing home, personal care home or home health service may be suggested, and the staff will assist the patient and family in making the necessary arrangements.

 

The Tranquility Outpatient Partial Hospitalization Program at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas, Behavioral Health Center has been established to provide a step-down experience for patients transitioning from inpatient care to life on their own or vice versa. This program provides comprehensive group therapy Monday through Friday for those patients who still require maximum support. The program also provides an intensive outpatient program Monday through Friday for those adults who are more stable but still require intensive group therapy. Transportation will be provided to and from the program for the convenience of the patient.

 

The Senior Care Unit provides a team of professional behavioral health staff to answer questions

and help individuals, families, physicians, and other agencies determine the need for the geriatric patient they are also available to offer quick and easy access to the unit, 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling (409) 212-7800.

 

Mary W. Poole is Director Public Relations at Baptist Hospitals of Southeast Texas